Friday, May 5, 2017

Books I Read in April

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I didn't read a whole pile in April - mainly due to the recent spate of good weather and the fact that I've been crafting (I made a Giles) and binge watching things at night (Big Little Lies, 13 Reasons Why, Last Tango in Halifax, The Handmaid's Tale) - but I managed to finish 7 books altogether.

As always, head over to my Books 2017 page to find clickable covers for everything if you want to read my full Goodreads review.

The Rick O'Shea Book Club

The April picks were Skintown by Ciaran McMenamin and this:

The Raqqa Diaries: Escape from 'Islamic State' by Samer
Samer is a pseudonym, the author's identity is hidden. This is a short book, but it packs a punch - this man was an ordinary guy, living an ordinary life, going to University, making friends, finding new love. Once. Now? His city is under Daesh rule, people are beheaded for speaking out, his friends are killed in front of him, his life is in danger - he is on the run. This is horrific and should be read by everyone, especially anyone who has ever felt compelled to leave a nasty comment under an article about asylum seekers. The horror they have seen doesn't bear thinking about.


I'm still a little behind on my Netgalley reviews, but I finished two in April.


Sometimes I Lie by Alice Feeney
This is one of those strange psychological thrillers that I read, and know I quite enjoyed, but can not remember. I can't remember one thing about the plot without looking at my notes. Amber is a radio presenter, currently in a coma. She is married, she has been in an accident, and she thinks her husband is up to something. She is also a liar. Twisty, but forgettable - a perfect non-taxing holiday read.

The Stepmother by Claire Seeber
I requested this so long ago that I'd accidentally bought it on Kindle since - it's a modern take on Snow White and the Evil Stepmother trope. I enjoyed this one, it was paced well and all the characters were pretty horrible. The main character's sister breaks the literary equivalent of the fourth wall frequently, talking directly to the reader, which I found unique for this sort of book. It took a bit of getting used to but it worked here. Full of secrets and red herrings, so if you like that kind of thing I'd say you'd enjoy this one.



I picked up the Chaos Walking trilogy last year in Charlie Byrne's (my favourite bookshop ever, nestled away in the heart of Galway City) but it only called to me recently. As an aside - does that happen to anyone else? I could be in the middle of one book and something I bought two years ago will jump out and demand to be read. In this case, I was really glad to finally get to this series.

The Knife of Never Letting Go by Patrick Ness 
Book One in the Chaos Walking trilogy. Todd Hewitt is a twelve year old boy who lives in Prentisstown. It's not like other towns - firstly, there are no women. None. Secondly - all the men can hear what the others are thinking, due to a "noise germ". Todd is the last boy in Prentisstown, due to officially become a man on his thirteenth birthday in a month. Only - something is happening, something big, and Todd needs to get out for his own safety. With the help of an unexpected companion, Todd realises that things in Prentisstown may not be what they seem... I LOVED THIS BOOK. The writing style took a while to get used to, but I really liked it and devoured it over two days.

The Ask and the Answer by Patrick Ness
Book Two carries on right where book one left off - not to spoil anything, but this has a dual POV in slightly different fonts which was handy, because both characters can sound alike at times. The War is coming - but it's not the one they were expecting.... this book was a more serious read, tackling subjects like feminism and genocide, as well as examining truth, conscience and loyalty. This took me longer to get finished, but it was a solid sequel and sets everything up nicely for the last book.

Young Adult


Thirteen Reasons Why by Jay Asher
I wanted to watch the series on Netflix so I decided to read the book first - I wrote a post about what I thought of the series, but I really didn't enjoy the book at all. If anything, the series was a huge improvement on a weak story. I don't agree that the series glamourizes suicide - but I think the book did. I wouldn't recommend it.

A Court of Mist and Fury by Sarah J. Maas
The second in a series (the first being A Court of Thorns and Roses), this was an excellent sequel. To avoid spoilers I won't go into too much detail - but I'll say that I am firmly on Team Rhysand, and I can not wait until my copy of the third book arrives! This is a young adult fantasy, set in a world of High Kings, Faeries, Magic - all the things I usually avoid like the plague unless they come from the mind of Joss Whedon - but this series is really addictive and enjoyable.

So there you have it - I've added another seven to my yearly total, and hopefully I'll be back next month with an even bigger round up.


  1. Anything with Patrick Ness on it and I'm good. Have you read any of his others?

    1. I've also read A Monster Calls and The Rest of Us Just Live Here - really like him! He's having an event in Dublin next week!

  2. Delighted you loved the first two ACOTARs books. I can't wait to get stuck into them.

    1. Really looking forward to hearing what you think! Book One was great but Book Two was even better, can't wait to get to the third one!

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